Your cart
translation missing: en.general.icons.close_alt Icon

Mother's Day Brunch

A brunch table set up with all of Ina Garten's staples. Spode Jumbo Cup and saucers, White Tableware, Insulated Chrome Plated Carafe, Hotel Silver Cake Stand.

As many of you know, my mom Barbara has been Ina Garten’s assistant for more than 20 years. What started as a part-time job working on The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook turned into an exciting, life-changing career and unique friendship. Last week my mom and I decided to have an early Mother’s Day brunch and cook together. Whenever my mother visits, we cook. Mother’s Day is no exception - she has so much wisdom in the kitchen and I’m always learning from her. We laugh and chat. If I happen to rush through things or get ahead of myself, my mom gives me the “this is how Ina does it” line. It’s wonderful. 

Cassandra & Barbara having Mother's Day brunch at the table

We settled on two dishes for brunch – one from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, and one from Cook Like A Pro, Ina’s latest cookbook release. My mom has worked on all 11 cookbooks and, at the moment, these two volumes bookend her career with Ina. It’s really been an incredible experience for my mom and it’s so interesting to hear the behind-the-scenes stories of how the recipes came together. 

Cassandra & Barbara making Ina Garten's Truffled Scrambled Eggs.

Cassandra making Ina Garten's Banana Crunch Muffins on the counter.

From The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, we made Banana Crunch Muffins (page 212). I’d made them before, but never with my mother – she gave me a few good tips. First of all, fill the muffin cups with batter – don’t be shy. She says that Ina always uses big, round scoops when dishing out muffins. We used the 2.2-inch scoop and it worked perfectly. The muffins are a great size for brunch and had the perfect bit of crunch on the top. I could have eaten them all day.

Cassandra & Barbara making Ina Garten's Truffled Scrambled Eggs.

Cassandra & Barbara making Ina Garten's Truffled Scrambled Eggs.

The Truffled Scrambled Eggs from Cook Like A Pro (page 251) are incredible. Ina says that the key to cooking them is slow and low – definitely not the way moms are usually scrambling up eggs! Patience is a must – for the first five minutes that the eggs are in the pan, you don’t even touch them! And the Urbani truffle butter is amazing (we ordered online, just like Ina says to do), and now that I’ve tasted it, I want to make everything with truffle butter. The recipes for both dishes are listed at the bottom of this post.

It was a beautiful spring day so we opted to sit outside and enjoy ourselves. Hot coffee, fancy scrambled eggs, and my favorite banana crunch muffins – but the best part was my mom. Cooking with her is so much fun! And when I look back between the first book she was part of and the last, I realize the significance of the journey in between. My life has been shaped by my mother’s love and appreciation for cooking well – making mistakes and trying again (she is, after all, a champion recipe tester!). I’m so lucky to have her appreciation and knowledge passed down to me in such a fun and inspiring way. And it’s not lost on me how fortunate I am to have my mom around to continue that tradition with my children.

My actual Mother’s Day will likely be much more chaotic with kids and the dog and sports and a to-do list but this Mother’s Day brunch was just perfect.

Thank you, Mom. Love, Babe.

  

Banana Crunch Muffins -yields 18 large muffins

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 extra-large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 bananas)
1 cup medium-diced ripe bananas (1 banana)
1 cup small-diced walnuts
1 cup granola
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Dried banana chips, granola, or shredded coconut, optional

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 18 large muffin cups with paper liners. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the melted butter and blend. Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas, and add them to the flour-and-butter mixture. Scrape the bowl and blend well. Don't overmix.

Fold the diced bananas, walnuts, granola, and coconut into the batter. Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each 1 to the top. Top each muffin with dried banana chips, granola, or coconut, if desired. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly, remove from the pan and serve.

Ina Garten, 1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, All Rights Reserved

 

Truffled Scrambled Eggs 

Ingredients

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 extra-large eggs
1/4 cup half-and-half or milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons truffle butter
3 slices brioche bread, toasted
Minced fresh chives, for garnish

Directions

Place a medium (10-inch) saute pan over low heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt but not completely. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until the yolks and whites are just blended. Pour the mixture into the pan but don't mix it.

Allow the eggs to warm slowly over low heat without stirring them. This may take 3 to 5 minutes, so be patient! As soon as the eggs start to cook on the bottom, use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan and fold the cooked eggs over the uncooked eggs. Once the eggs start to look a little custardy, stir them rapidly with the spatula until they are the texture of very soft custard. Remove the pan from the heat before the eggs are fully cooked, as they will continue to cook in the warm pan. Immediately, stir the truffle butter into the eggs. This will stop the cooking.

Cut the slices of toast in half diagonally and place them on 3 dinner plates. Spoon the scrambled eggs over the toasts and garnish with minced chives. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot.

Copyright 2017, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved

Comments on this post (5)

  • May 12, 2019

    I loved Pamela’s post! All of her questions I’ve wondered about myself. Barbara, I’ve seen you in episodes thinking you must be a friend of Ina and Jeffrey in real life. They are the sweetest couple. Barefoot has always been my favorite cooking show. And to think for twenty years you had that wonderful job with those good people. What a interesting career you have had! Congratulations! You and your daughter are like my daughters and me. We are, indeed, fortunate women. I’m going to order some truffle butter…Ina made a wonderful pasta recipe with truffle butter. Do you remember? The best to everyone involved in that superb cooking show!

    — barbara salmi

  • May 11, 2019

    I loved Pamela’s post! All of her questions I’ve wondered about myself. Barbara, I’ve seen you in episodes thinking you must be a friend of Ina and Jeffrey in real life. They are the sweetest couple. Barefoot has always been my favorite cooking show. And to think for twenty years you had that wonderful job with those good people. What a interesting career you have had! Congratulations! You and your daughter are like my daughters and me. We are, indeed, fortunate women. I’m going to order some truffle butter…Ina made a wonderful pasta recipe with truffle butter. Do you remember? The best to everyone involved in that superb cooking show!

    — barbara salmi

  • May 10, 2019

    I can’t help but feel the love between you and your mom in this blog….recipes look really yummy too! Thank you ❤️

    — Sherami

  • May 10, 2019

    First of all, I miss having your mom to write to when I would have a question. I knew who she was from the few times she was on an episode. Unlike everyone else who begin their question with Dear Ina, I began mine with Dear Barbara. Tell her I’m the goofy woman who lives outside of DC near Camp David. I always said if she comes to the DC area I would love to meet her. We could meet for lunch at a Georgetown resturant, a gluten free friendly one of course for me.
    She’ll probably remember. At least she used to begin with, “its nice to hear from you again”. Whether she meant it or not, I don’t want to know. You said something that triggered a thought which makes me think your mom should write a book. I’m almost finished reading again the book, “My Thirty Years Backstairs at the White House” by Lillian Rogers Parks. Its not a dirty gossip account but a nice book of real families living at the White House and the crazy things that happened. Not a “tell all” type of book and your mom should not do that type of book. First of all I doubt there would be much “juicy” gossip concerning Ina and Jefftey. Next, personally, unlike many nosy parkers I do NOT want to know nasty intimate information on famous people. It seems when I hear bad things about celebrities I like, I lose a desire to watch or admire their work. I try to separate the two, but it doesn’t work. I’ve lost my love of several movies and programs due to that and lastly, I believe every human is entitled to a degree of privacy. I disagree with those who say “celebrities have no right to privacy because they make their fortunes from the public”. Well that’s just ludicrous. If someone owns a dress shop, they earn their money from customers. Its due to them everything they have. Does that give those customers the right to know every intimate detail about that shop owner’s life? Of course not. Everyone in some way earns their income from others, it doesn’t give those people any rights to anything other than those goods or services they purchased. The ones who believe this are just trying to justify their own nosy, rude and bad obsession with people. Its a psychological. In a person’s mind, associating one’s self with a famous or wealthy or successful person causes that person to feel those same qualities about themself. See mom, all that money on college was worth it, I DID learn something. Personally I believe the “right to privacy” should become an amendment to the Constitution, it is getting that bad in most countries, not just the US. After all, we all know Princess Diana’s story. Anyway, I think the book should be just what you said, the back story of how the recipes developed. I think it would be very intetesting. There is something I have ALWAYS wanted to know about the TV cooking show. Now I know its not so much “reality” as they portray. Someone just doesn’t arrive at a certain time, they’ve been through makeup and wardrobe first, perhaps practiced, there are retakes and so forth. But what comes first, did that friend really come for a genuine visit so it was a good time to make those dishes or was the friend asked to be in an episode? How close to the real holiday are they filming? I know Jeffrey really did come home each Friday (before retirement) but did they wait on him, plan it around his real arrival? Was it even a Friday when they filmed? Or was Jeffrey there all day filming? Just how much reality is in the scenario of the episode? Also, WHY is every baking sheet pan used on EVERY episode of EVERY cooking show by EVERY cook completely shiny and new? What happens to ALL the used ones? I’ll take a few. I think I remember noticing on one episode of Pioneer Woman a used baking sheet. I remember thinking someone must have forgotten to bring the new ones or the shipment didn’t arrive or something happened. Some shows I swear they must have a different KitchenAid Stand Mixer AND Le Creuset Dutch Oven each episode. But your mom should write the back story of the recipes. I for one should find it fascinating and I bet others would too. And if she does, I get a free signed copy for the idea in the first place. Give your mom a hug for me.

    — Pamela

  • May 10, 2019

    Both of these look like delicious recipes. Thank you for sharing. I have both cookbooks as I am a
    huge fan of Ina. Always a wonderful gift when we are able to cook without mom. Hope to try these recipes soon.

    — Cary

Leave a comment